Phil Jacobson - Phil Jacobson was still a newcomer to shooting glamour in the early 1960s, but just a few years later he had gained such a high reputation in the field that he was shooting for many of the leading men's magazines in the U.S., and by 1965, a portfolio of Jacobson's figure photography would be featured in Figure Quarterly (Summer edition).
Born in Los Angeles, California, Jacobson had a keen sense of the beautiful and decided at the young age of 17 that he wanted a career in photography. Specifically, he was interested in pursuing figure photography from the time he purchased his first camera. After he had attended Los Angeles City College and later the University of California, Jacobson knew he needed specialized instruction in photography and he supplemented his classroom schooling with professional on-the-job training.
"I eventually got into the photographic business on my own," Jacobson said. "It was a case of sheer nerve. I was working for another photographer in the Los Angeles area, where I felt that my efforts were helping the business grow and develop. I began to think that maybe I could do the same for myself. So I decided to try my luck alone."
At this time, he devoted all waking hours to his craft, and had almost completely eliminated other outside interests. He worked almost exclusively with two Rolleiflex cameras, as Jacobson preferred the square format they afforded. They were also essentially faster than any other camera on the market, with the exception of a motor-driven 35mm.
Concerning his lighting, he wrote: "As most shootings take place indoors at least 50 percent of the time, the resulting need for light becomes paramount. I find that the strobe light bounced, reflected, or diffused in some manner becomes the most beautiful of all illumination for photographing the female nude."
A selection of men's magazines in which Phil Jacobson had pictorials published included:
Adam (Dec. 1962 - credited as Phil Lovey) - Gloria Dawn
Caper (July 1964 and Jan. 1966)
Cavalcade (Feb. 1965) - Tracy Ames
Escapade (Oct. '63, Dec. '63, April '66, June '66, Oct. '67)
Gentleman (April 1964) - Helen Galanapoulos
Modern Man (June '66, Sept. '66, April '67, Jan. '68)
Sir Knight (Aug. 1962 - credited as Irving Solomen) - Gloria Dawn
The most rewarding aspect of his career, according to Jacobson, other than producing top-flight figure studies, was the discovery of girls who developed into professional models - girls who are lovely, graceful, and quick to understand his moods and demands. Above all else, Jacobson sought sensitivity and femininity in his models. That was the primary reason he sought out dancers for posing.
Some of Phil Jacobson's models included: Bobby Taylor, Jane Mason, Tracy Ames, Monica Strand, Michele Swain, Carolyn Walker, Lili Hamermacher, Ronnie Willie, Stacey Walker, Sherry Shafer, Madeline Bond, Jody Fleming, Beverly Hills, Gloria Dawn and Helen Galanapoulos.
Of his early experiences working with models, Phil Jacobson wrote: "One of my first truly professional models was Gloria Dawn. She had worked for a number of my more experienced competitors and she came to me prepared to do all the work herself, if necessary. Fortunately, I was a willing student and I did learn some photographic tricks. I was pretty green then and not fully at ease when shooting a nude. It was Gloria and her warm naturalness that helped me overcome my initial tension."
Looking back to his early days, Jacobson admitted that his career, just like any other, had not been completely without its disappointments and frustrations. Still, he remarked that the only real difficulty he has ever encountered was in understanding himself and his reasons for working as he does. "Once that is resolved, nothing is impossible," he said.
I currently do not have any information on Phil Jacobson during the 1970s and beyond, so if any reader has information to share, please contact me.
Kurt Reichert - Not to be confused with the German nudist photographer of the 1940s, this Kurt Reichert was an Ohio-born pin-up and glamour photographer who had his photos published in several men's magazines from the mid 50s through the 1960s.
Kurt Reichert was hit by the photography bug when he was 11 years old and given an inexpensive box camera and a developing kit. From that birthday on, he and photography became inseparable. Because the young Kurt couldn't wait to shoot a whole roll of film before processing, he fixed his box camera so that it would accept sheet film. Since the shutter speed was too slow, with a rubber band and a few notches here and there, he was able to speed it up to 1/200 of a second. After that camera eventually outlived its usefulness, he acquired an Eastman Pony Premo, a 5x7 camera that he used until WWII when sheet film for the camera became scarce and he was forced to switch to a format for which he could find film. He ended up with a 35mm camera and better darkroom equipment. He would later switch to a twin lens reflex (medium format) camera for most of his glamour work.
In the early 1950s, Kurt Reichert sought out the advice of glamour photographer Peter Gowland, and with his help, Kurt soon began selling his photos with such steadiness that he quit his regular job and turned professional.
Some of Mr. Reichert's work can be seen in men's magazines such as Rogue, Beau, Sir Knight and Modern Man, as well as the publications Art Photography (August 1956), Figure Quarterly (Winter 1959) and Best Photography (1961).
A few of Kurt Reichert's models included Jean Coleman, Virginia DeLee, Diana Noble, Mamie Van Doren, Sheika Moser, Donna Long, Doris Gohlke and Shirley Skates.
Concerning shooting outdoors, Reichert wrote in 1956: "Bright sun is probably best for pin-up photography as it endows pictures with a gay, carefree mood. At the same time, however, it casts very strong and sometimes unflattering shadows, particularly at noon when directly overhead. In such instances, it's necessary to throw extra light into the shadows by using a reflector or flashbulb. I prefer the flash as it's easier to handle than a bulky, time-consuming reflector. Cloudy sun or shade are both softer types of light and don't have the same disadvantages of bright sun. An advantage of soft light being its tendency to hide minor imperfections in the model's complexion."
About the use of props, he wrote: "Props are a great aid in suggesting poses as well as strengthening the composition of the individual photo. For example, many times I've been stuck for a new or different idea, when a nearby prop, such as a beach ball, towel, rope, pile of seaweed, log, rock or fence has come to the rescue."
If any readers have additional biographical information on Kurt Reichert, please email me at the address listed on my contact page.
Paul Morton Smith - Paul Morton Smith, Jr. was born on Nov. 18, 1931 in New York. In 1958, he was a newcomer to photography of any kind, but just three years later, the first of his three centerfolds (and one of my favorites - Connie Cooper - Miss Jan. 1961) would appear in Playboy magazine.
It was with the help of photographers such as Russ Meyer that Paul Smith gained the skill and knowledge that allowed him to successfully realize his dream of photographing beautiful women. In 1959, he wrote: "I was amazed at the time, help, consideration and encouragement given me by other photographers as a whole, and one in particular. This tremendous amount of very welcome help was certainly the most important factor in my early days as an aspiring photographer."
Paul Morton Smith was once described by Russ Meyer as "the heir to a vast fortune" (Paul's paternal grandmother was the niece of Joy Morton, the founder of the Morton Salt Company) and Paul somehow befriended Meyer in 1957 or 1958. It was in 1958 when Smith helped Russ Meyer with the production of his film "The Immoral Mr. Teas", doing some location scouting as well as supplying one of the models who would appear in the film (Michelle Roberts).
By 1959, Paul Morton Smith's work would already be published in the book "Photographing Glamour" by Fawcett books, and his glamour soon began to be seen in men's magazines such as Caper and The Dude.
Some of his early models included: Dawn Denielle, Darby Donnelly, Yvonne Adrian, Marilyn Wesley, Ann Peters, Patti O'Connell (Caper - March 1960) and Linda German (The Dude - July 1960).
But it was in Jan. 1961 when Paul Morton Smith really made it big with publication in the most prestigious of men's magazines, Playboy. He photographed Connie Cooper (Miss Jan. 1961) and then went on to have two more Playmate pictorials published in the magazine - Marya Carter (Miss May 1962) and Karla Conway (Miss April 1966).
For camera equipment, Mr. Smith used two Nikon S3 cameras with normal focal length, 85mm, 105mm and wide angle lenses. When shooting color, he preferred to use the medium format Hasselblad. Along with the Hasselblad, he sometimes used two Rolleis with f:2.8 lenses. For certain color jobs such as magazine and record covers, he turned to his 4x5 Graphic view camera. He also used an 8x10 camera for his Playboy centerfolds.
The book "Glamor Photos" (1962) by Whitestone books would feature more of Paul Morton Smith's glamour work and one of his photos would also be featured on the cover of the Whitestone book "Camera Studies of Figure Beauty" (1965).
Paul Morton Smith wrote the following in 1962: "Despite all the technical proficiency that naturally comes with continued practice, it is, by and large, the natural talent - the inner imagination and eye for beauty - of the photographer himself which determines the success or failure of a picture. This is shown in choice of model, costumes, locations and lighting effects. The artist with the camera must know in the beginning just what he wants to say and then, through skillful use of his equipment, be able to express it pictorially on film."
I currently have no information on Paul Morton Smith's activities in the 1970s.
According to the California Death Index, Paul Morton Smith, Jr. died in Los Angeles, California on Jan. 14, 1982. Although one genealogical website lists his death as occurring in 1980, I will stick with 1982. He was just 50 years old at the time of his death, but left behind some amazing glamour photos.
If any readers have additions or corrections to this profile, please contact me.
Michael LeRoy - Michael LeRoy was an award-winning food and fashion photographer who got his start shooting glamorous models and actresses in both New York and Los Angeles in the early to late 60s.
Michael LeRoy Spaul was born on Oct. 4, 1936 (along with his identical twin brother, Alan Spaul) at Cedars Sinai in Los Angeles and had a fairly uneventful time growing up in the Melrose District until Michael graduated from L.A. Trade Technical College. At some point in the early 60s, Michael did an apprenticeship with famed Hollywood glamour photographer Keith Bernard. During this time, using his professional name, Michael LeRoy, he photographed several glamour models, including Gloria Dawn (see my Glamour Models page for more info on Gloria Dawn). Michael worked with Keith Bernard until 1963 and then seized the opportunity to become a full-time photographer with California Fashion Publications.
In late 1965, after a two week visit to New York over the Holidays, he was confident that he could survive in that fast-paced environment. It took him a grueling year to establish himself, but he went on to enjoy the adventure of the life of an up-and-coming New York photographer. He gained work with Cosmopolitan magazine and one of his fans and early mentors was none other than Helen Gurley Brown, Chief Editor of Cosmopolitan. In fact, Michael would accompany her on many visits as guest on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. He would stand on stage, behind the live cameras, shooting publicity stills. Had Cosmopolitan magazine not sent Michael LeRoy back to Southern California in 1968 - as a native of L.A., he could be trusted to capture the essence of the Southern California lifestyle - he may have remained in New York.
Camera equipment used by Mr. LeRoy included the medium format Rolleiflex and Hasselblad as well as some 35mm cameras. He also occasionally used an 8x10 view camera with a 4x5 back.
Some of Michael LeRoy's glamour work can be seen in the 1965 Whitestone book "Camera Studies of Figure Beauty" as well as the 1967 edition of Good Photography. His photos of Gloria Dawn can be seen in the men's magazines Monsieur (Feb 1964) and Men's Digest (Feb. 1966).
Back in California, LeRoy also worked with Los Angeles magazine for 20 years, almost single-handedly producing L.A.'s renowned Restaurant Guide, but there was always time for artistic and creative work, some of which can be seen here.
Later, Michael pursued a second career as an award-winning photojournalist for a major campus publication. In June 2011, L.A.'s Mayor and City Council extended glossy Certificates of Recognition to "The Clipboard" and Editor-in-Chief, Michael LeRoy Spaul.
Sadly, Michael LeRoy Spaul passed away about three years later at Tarzana Medical Center of complications from heart surgery. He was 77 years old.
Charles Kell confers with model Jayne Hacklin before a photo shoot.
Charles Kell - Kell was another New York based photographer who shot glamour and fashion for various publications in the 1950s.
Charles Kell began his photographic journey as a youngster in Stockholm, Sweden where he acquired a thorough knowledge of photography. His success as a glamour photographer began almost immediately upon his arrival in the United States in 1949. His early work, done on a speculative basis to prove his ability, appealed to a number of magazine editors who found his simplicity of approach to be just what they needed. Soon after, his photos were in great demand for use on covers of several of the top glamour magazines (including Art Photography, Classic Photography and Modern Man). His nudes would also be featured in Figure Quarterly magazine.
Concerning his approach to shooting glamour, Kell was quoted in 1958 as saying: "A photograph with a busy background...one cluttered with props and extraneous materials...seems to defeat the whole purpose of a glamour picture, which is the glorification of the female face and form. Anything that diverts the viewer's attention from the subject should be excluded."
Working alongside Kell was his wife, who he termed "the best unsalaried assistant in the world", and together they photographed many of the East Coast models of the era, including Jayne Hacklin, Bettie Page, Eva Lynd, Peggy Ray and Elaine Ray (Modern Man, Oct. '59).
One of the conveniences of the Kells' Manhattan studio was that it adjoined their apartment, making it easy to use quite a bit of their own furniture as incidental props for the various photo shoots. However, it was not unusual to have to rent specific pieces at a charge that often exceeded the cost of the film and model combined.
Kell preferred to use the medium format Rolleiflex for his B&W work and regularly developed his films in 777 Panthermic for seven minutes at 70 degrees with constant agitation. After making contact sheets of each developed roll, he mailed them to the various magazine editors across the country.
Kell's lighting equipment included three 1000 watt-second Ascor strobes as well as a number of slave units.
Hopefully, I'll have more information on this photographer in the future.
Ed Lange - Ed Lange was a nudist, photographer of nudists, and founder of a profitable magazine and book publishing empire devoted to the nudist lifestyle, but he also shot glamour photos that were published under two different pseudonyms during the 1950s and 60s: Stanley Dorie and Erwin G. Lang.
Ed Lange was born on January 31, 1920. As a teenager in Chicago, he became fascinated with nudism after he bought an early nudist magazine, Sunshine and Health, at a local drugstore. At the age of 20, Ed left Chicago and moved to Los Angeles, where he found work as a set designer and freelance photographer for Life, Vogue and Harper's Bazaar. He also worked as a studio photographer at Paramount and for Conde Nast in Los Angeles, shooting Hollywood celebrities such as Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton.
Ed's published glamour work (as Stanley Dorie and Erwin Lang) seems to have consisted mostly of photos taken of Diane Webber (she was also a nudist at the time) and Paulette Nelson, Miss U.S.A. 1956. His photos of Diane Webber and Miss Nelson appeared in Best Photography (1961) under the name Erwin Lang and one of the same photos of Paulette Nelson had earlier been published in Photography for Men, No. 1 (1957) under the name Stanley Dorie. Dorie was also credited with several other Diane Webber photos over the years.
At least one of Lange's images of Diane was published in Playboy magazine. In the January 2000 issue, a color photo of Diane Webber bathing in a wok was used to illustrate the pictorial "Centerfolds of the Century".
In addition to shooting fashion and glamour, Ed was also an accomplished architectural photographer. When shooting glamour, he sometimes used the medium format Rolleiflex, but I don't have any further information on his camera equipment at this time.
Lange began publishing his own pro-nudist literature in 1961 as Elysium Growth Press. In 1965, Ed published and wrote the introduction for Andre de Dienes' book "Sun-Warmed Nudes" (see my profile of Andre de Dienes on the Ten Photographers page). Two years later, Ed started his own clothing-optional camp, Elysium Fields, but the camp quickly became the target of a hostile Los Angeles County government. Sheriff's deputies arrested Lange and two dozen other nudists in 1968, charging them with indecent exposure. It wasn't until 1993, after a series of court reversals, that the county finally recognized the camp's right to exist. Once shunned by local business leaders, it was around this time that Ed served as the head of the Topanga Chamber of Commerce. In 1994, he was named the group's "Citizen of the Year".
Unfortunately, Ed Lange died in a Reno, Nevada hospital on May 7, 1995 after a four year battle with prostate cancer. He was 75 years old and was survived by his two daughters, Dana Lange Newman and Lisa Lange, as well as his ex-wife, June Schwartz. A public memorial service was held on May 21, 1995 at Elysium Fields in Topanga Canyon with 300 people in attendance.
Herb Flatow - Herb Flatow was a New York freelance photographer who shot a lot of glamour in the late 50s and early 60s. However, I have little biographical information on this photographer, so if any readers have more information, please contact me.
Herbert Jerome Flatow was born on June 7, 1915 in New York and seemed to have become a professional photographer relatively late in life. In 1952, he was still an avid amateur but by 1954 he had several of his images published in Salon Photography and Prize Winning Photography (two of which were glamour images). In 1955 some of his photos appeared in Eye magazine and in June and Dec. 1956, Herb Flatow's layouts on Tucky Witteck and Judy O'Day were published in the men's adventure magazine Saga. However, it wasn't until 1958 that his glamour photos began appearing in men's magazines such as Escapade, Caper, Male Point of View and Modern Man. Specifically, it was Caper magazine where his work appeared most prominently during the late 50s and early 60s. Flatow's glamour work would also be published in the Whitestone book The Technique of Figure Photography (1959).
Herb Flatow appeared to have been rather modest as far as the photographer's role in creating a beautiful glamour image. In 1959, he wrote: "...it is the model in front of the camera and not the self-styled genius behind it who is in the driver's seat. The pictures will be no greater than the model allows, in spite of all the camera techniques in the world."
Concerning his models, he wrote: "I find women all about me daily - in elevators, in the streets, in restaurants, etc. I will go right up to any girl who I feel will qualify, regardless of where she happens to be, and try to work with her. I get 90% of my models by personal discovery or referrals."
Though Herb Flatow did photograph a lot of women he found himself, he also shot his fair share of established glamour models, such as Tina Louise, Zahra Norbo, Eva Lynd, Dondi Penn, Maria Stinger, Alice Denham and Colleen Farrington. Some of his other models included: Norma Moore, Bonnie Evans, Cindy Lindt, Sue Ann Langdon, Judy O'Day, Pamela Perry, Marianne Olson, Tucky Witteck, Audrey Williams, Claire Fitzpatrick (Modern Man, Feb. '59), Tanya Corlette (Caper, July '59), Cynthia Jordan (Caper, May '60), Beverly Hills (Modern Man, June '60), Joan Statler (Caper, July '60), Mylene Kirsten (Caper, May '61), Terri Summers (Caper, March '62), Carrie Radison, Mitzi Cooper, Cyd Gardner, Kitt Rawlins, Karli Marlowe, Tempest Storm, Tina Bobbitt and Chelo Alonzo.
For equipment, Flatow used a Rolleiflex (to him, it had no peer), Ascor portable strobes, window light and a lot of Tri-X black and white film. All processing was done for him at a photo lab, where prints were made under his direction. "As a freelance photographer, I cannot find the time to research, shoot and sell as much as I should like to, let alone do the processing, developing, contacting and print making."
I have very little additional information on this photographer other than that he passed away in New York on Feb. 7, 1999 at the age of 83. I hope some readers, or perhaps relatives of Mr. Flatow, will contact me with some more biographical data.
Model Laura Gunall poses for Curt Gunther (circa 1946). To see a better photo of the photographer, Google "Curt Gunther" and his photo will be the first thing you see.
Curt Gunther - Most people who are familiar with Curt Gunther's work probably know him for his photography of Hollywood stars, sports figures like Muhammad Ali, and The Beatles, but he also did a fair amount of glamour work over the years, shooting for magazines like Escapade and Caper in the late 50s and Playboy in the late 60s. Regarding Playboy, he photographed one Playmate for the magazine (Miss Sept. 1967, Angela Dorian).
Curt Gunther was born on Feb. 24, 1919 in Berlin, Germany. At the age of thirteen, he acquired his first Leica camera and soon after, photography became his obsession. In 1938, at the age of 19, he fled Nazi Germany for the United States. He originally settled in New York City to begin his photography career, but would eventually fly back and forth to Los Angeles to shoot for magazines like Life, Coronet, Screen Guide, Cosmopolitan and Collier's and later, for Time, Newsweek, People and TV Guide magazines.
One of Gunther's early magazine covers included the July 1946 issue of Popular Photography, which featured a beautiful glamour photo of Hollywood actress Rhonda Fleming.
Some of the TV and movie stars Mr. Gunther photographed over the years included: Rhonda Fleming, Rita Hayworth, Humphrey Bogart, Lana Turner, Orson Welles, Ingrid Bergman, Sophia Loren, Sharon Tate, Raquel Welch, Frank Sinatra, Steve McQueen, Sally Field, Paul Newman, Jamie Lee Curtis, Lynda Carter, Suzanne Somers, Dean Martin, Nastassja Kinski, Jane Fonda, Natalie Wood, Donna Reed, Annette Funicello and Frankie Avalon. He also photographed movie directors (Alfred Hitchcock, Billy Wilder), sports figures (Joe Louis, Rocky Marciano and Muhammad Ali) and political figures like the Kennedy family. And of course, there was The Beatles, along with other musical acts like The Righteous Brothers and The Byrds.
Gunther met Muhammad Ali in 1960 and captured photos of the boxer with his family very early in his career. The two developed a friendship that would last for decades. Gunther would photograph most of Ali's fights, and when Curt's son Steve was old enough to help out, the two would photograph the fights together.
In 1964, Curt Gunther was in San Francisco photographing The Beatles, when he asked to join the 1964 American tour as their photographer. Many of these photos went unseen until Curt, with the help of his son Steve, released a book of the photos on the 25th anniversary of the tour. The book was titled "Beatles '64: A Hard Day's Night in America".
However, it was in the late 50s when Curt Gunther shot the majority of his glamour models for men's magazines, predominately for Escapade and Caper. His glamour work at this time would also be featured in the book "The Technique of Figure Photography" (1959).
Gunther wrote at the time: "...not every pretty girl has the makings of a good glamour model. Even of the professional models that agents send to me, only a minority can be used. The first thing I look at is the bone structure of the face. A girl has to be photogenic because, no matter how hard you try, you cannot make a girl photogenic who has not been born that way."
Some of his models included: Mylene Demongeot, Claire Bloom, Joan Collins, Sabrina, Marion Stafford (Escapade, Feb. '58), Jean Francois (Escapade, Aug. '58), Sue Ann Langdon (Escapade, Oct. '58), Jean Fievez (Escapade, Dec. '58 and Caper, July '59), Rene LaSalle (Escapade, Oct. '59), Gus Thorner, Carolyn Hughes, Elliot Lor, Julie Gibson, Molly Anne Bourne, Pier Angeli, Carolyn Wynn, Elaine Malbin and Eva Lynd.
For camera equipment, Curt Gunther used medium format (Rolleiflex and a Hasselblad with a telephoto lens) and 35mm (a Leica and three Pentax SLRs, each equipped with lenses of different focal lengths). He also used a 4x5 Speed Graphic for some of his color magazine covers and an 8x10 camera on occasion. A little later in life, he began using a Nikon F for 35mm.
In 1967, Curt photographed Angela Dorian (real name Victoria Vetri) for the September issue of Playboy magazine. When she was named the Playmate of the Year, he photographed another pictorial of her for the May 1968 issue of the magazine (although the photo of Miss Dorian on the cover of that issue was photographed by Jerry Yulsman).
For the 1970s and 80s, Curt Gunther continued to photograph movie and TV stars as well as sporting events/sports stars. He also regularly shot award ceremonies such as The Academy Awards and the American Film Institute specials, which saluted famous actors and directors for a lifetime of work.
In 1989, the book "Beatles '64: A Hard Day's Night in America" was released to commemorate the 25th anniversary of The Beatles' first American tour, as I noted earlier in this profile.
Two years later, on Sept. 6, 1991, Curt Gunther passed away of a heart attack in New York City. He was 72 years old.
George Gowland at age 42 (1977)
George Gowland - Aside from readers of Modern Man magazine during the early to mid sixties, few people probably knew that Peter Gowland's half-brother also became a glamour photographer for awhile. No doubt that George was inspired by the success of his older brother to try his hand at photographing nude models. I'm guessing that Peter helped George get started and that Peter's wife Alice may have given him a few tips on where to market his photos.
George Gibson Gowland was born on March 3, 1935 and was the son of silent film actor Gibson Gowland and actress Rachelle Dervaes. George graduated from Palm Springs High School in 1953 and about 7 years later, at age 25, his photos of Hollywood figure models began appearing in the Modern Art for Men section of Modern Man magazine, sometimes alongside Peter's own photos. Overall, George's photos were quite good.
Some of the issues of the magazine in which his photographs were published include:
April 1960, model: Marilyn Wesley
Dec. 1960, two photos - Marilyn Wesley and an unidentified model
July 1961, two photos - Virginia Rogers and Marilyn Wesley
Nov. 1961, Pat O'Connell
Jan. 1963, Ginger Gibson
Feb. 1963, Ginger Gibson
July 1963, Marilyn Wesley
Feb. 1965, Collette Berne
June 1965, Ginger Gibson (reprint of the Feb. '63 photo)
Sept. 1965, unidentified model
Oct. 1965, Iris Bristol
Aug. 1966, Iris Bristol
After giving up glamour photography, George continued on in the auto body repair business, where he was self-employed. He was also associated with the National Car Show Association.
Married at least six times, the younger half-brother of Peter Gowland passed away in Desert Hot Springs, California on Feb. 28, 2011, after a long illness. He was just a few days shy of his 76th birthday.
Jan Caldwell - Jan Caldwell was a Miami-based photographer, who along with other glamour photographers from that city (Bunny Yeager and Bill Hamilton), became known for his work with Bettie Page.
Caldwell was born in Philadelphia and became familarized with photography while using his family's box camera as a youngster. Even at that age, he showed a flair for the medium. When World War II came around, he was a fairly competent semi-pro, and it was enough experience that while in the army, he was assigned as a photographer who would cover the European Theater. After he was discharged, he decided to continue with photography, and with his Rolleiflex, he drifted around the country handling assignments for newspapers, magazines, and even serving as a commercial cameraman before finally settling in Miami. Eventually, he opened his own studio and rapidly built up a reputation as a first class photographer. Before long, he turned his talent to figure studies, and like other figure artists, he soon became bored with the confines of studio photography and switched his attention to the great outdoors.
Jan Caldwell believed that shooting out of doors necessitated the need for the proper choice of model. Nature is automatically robust, he thought, and the model for outdoor studies must at least have similar qualities - robustness and natural athletic ease - or she would look out of place. That was why he selected the models the way he did and overlooked the high fashion type.
Caldwell also believed that the nude in a natural setting strikes the viewer as more logical. One reason is that the artificiality of studio lighting interferes with the feeling of direct communication between subject and viewer. Studio lighting exposes the presence of a third party - the photographer. Outdoor lighting, on the other hand, evokes the impression that the viewer is beholding beauty directly. Caldwell believed this to be true, despite the fact that the viewer's intelligence tells him that there had to be a photographer present. Subordinating his presence had been Caldwell's goal ever since he began shooting nudes outdoors.
Jan Caldwell's nudes were published in magazines such as Figure Quarterly Vol. 32 (1961) and Modern Man (in the Modern Art for Men gallery). A few of his models that were featured in Modern Man included Betty Thompson (Nov. 1961) and, of course, Bettie Page (Dec. 1961).
One of Caldwell's non-nude glamour models was Gigi Reynolds, who also worked with Miami photographers Bunny Yeager and Bill Hamilton. Although he photographed some established models, Mr. Caldwell preferred finding and introducing new faces - girls who were enthusiastic and reacted spontaneously. In 1958, he wrote: "It is true that an experienced model is often easier to work with, but she rarely presents her true self to the camera. She is unreal...a poised mannequin...exuding false emotions that are all too obvious to the viewer. Interpreting a new model may take more time and patience, but I find that it is much more rewarding."
Though he was famous for his glamour, Jan Caldwell devoted a great deal of his time to photographing action stories for men's magazines and travel pieces for a number of other national publications.
I hope to have more information on this photographer in the future.